"On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all people..."
Rabbi Marcelo is a reference in all South America, not only for Messianic Jews, but also for hundreds of Christian leaders who recognize his authority.
The Messianic Jewish movement is rapidly growing throughout South America!
Some of the largest Jewish populations reside in South America and particularly in Argentina and Brazil. And, a great number of Conversos or Anussim (formally called Marranos) live there as well. These are people whose ancestors, hundreds of years ago, were either forced upon threat of death to “convert” to Christianity or were brutally tortured and killed. Christians (primarily Catholics at the time) were taught that everything related to Judaism and Jewish culture was evil.
The great collective memory of these wounds has been handed down generation after generation. The leadership and intercessors of TJCII have labored in prayer for many years waiting on G-d’s timing to go to South America for a prayer journey of repentance and reconciliation.
Then, quickly, we watched as events converged and doors opened up in February 2013. First, TJCII was called to speak at a reconciliation conference at Har Tzion Messianic Jewish Synagogue in Brazil. Over 600 Christian leaders from across South America were in attendance and participated through livestream. Messianic Rabbi Marcelo Miranda Guimarães of Har Tzion is known through South America for his reconciliation work. He built the First Museum of the History of the Inquisition in Brazil. He is our TJCII Representative in Brazil. TJCII Executive Board members, Rabbi Marty Waldman, Father Peter Hocken and Archdeacon Johannes Fichtenbauer were the speakers.
At a pivotal moment, tremendous spiritual breakthrough was felt by all participants when Fr Peter said, “I realize the depth of the suffering inflicted on the Anussim by the Inquisition. This has to be confessed for the sake of the Catholic Church and the whole Body of Messiah.
It is a Catholic responsibility to acknowledge this massive evil, when the Church, through the Pope and the Kings, created a ‘monster’ (the Inquisition) that got out of control. The story of the Inquisition is a story of multiplication of evil and represented the climax of replacement teaching. As a Catholic priest, I am here to express this sorrow and ask for forgiveness from my Jewish brothers. We need to seek guidance from the Holy Spirit of God and let it work in the midst of the Church.”
These words were spoken on Monday, February 11, 2013. The next morning, February 12, 2013, the announcement was made that Pope Benedict had resigned.
A few days later, the leaders of TJCII were scheduled to be in Argentina for a similar conference where Anglican Priest Agustin Marsal is the TJCII Coordinator. Upon hearing that Rabbi Marty would be in Argentina, then Arch Cardinal Father Bergoglio requested a meeting with him and those accompanying him. Rabbi Marty gave his testimony telling how he met Yeshua. Father Bergoglio asked him to pray over him before he left for the Vatican where he had just been summoned to participate in the election of a new Pope. Of course, no one knew at that time, as Father Bergoglio left for Rome directly after their meeting, that Father Bergoglio would indeed shortly become Pope Francis 1. These events in February 2013 are an example of G-d’s timing with TJCII as we wait upon Him to see all Christian groups recognize the place of the Messianic Jewish brothers in the Body of Messiah.